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Barry George loses payout bid for Dando conviction

Barry George, who spent eight years in prison after being wrongly convicted of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando, has lost his High Court bid for compensation as a victim of a "miscarriage of justice".

Two judges rejected his claim that the Justice Secretary unfairly and unlawfully decided he was "not innocent enough to be compensated".

Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Irwin ruled the Secretary of State was "entirely justified in the conclusion he reached."

Ian Lawless, who spent eight years behind bars for murder before being freed by the Court of Appeal in 2009, won a similar legal challenge.

Mr George's solicitor, Nick Baird, said: "We are very disappointed with the judgment and we shall be applying for permission to leapfrog the Court of Appeal to have the matter heard before the Supreme Court."

Mr George, 52, came to court to seek a reconsideration of his case, which could have opened the way for him to claim an award of up to £500,000 for wrongful imprisonment.

But the judges ruled that he had "failed the legal test" to receive an award.

Dando was shot dead outside her home in Fulham in April 1999.

After his conviction in July 2001, Mr George, of Fulham, west London, was acquitted of killing the 37-year-old BBC presenter at a retrial in August 2008, which was ordered after doubt was cast on the reliability of gunshot residue evidence.

His high-profile compensation action was one of five test cases assembled to decide who is now entitled to payments in "miscarriage of justice" cases following a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in May 2011.

Decisions in all five cases to refuse payouts were defended by current Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in a three-day hearing last October.

Ian Glen QC, appearing for Mr George, had argued that the decision to refuse compensation was "defective and contrary to natural justice".

Yesterday, the judges rejected Mr George's case along with three others. The only one to succeed was Mr Lawless.

Another 11 cases were awaiting the landmark ruling.

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